As soon as I spoke to Stephanie Zimmerman, I knew I had found a kindred spirit. My Heart Your Hands shares so many of the beliefs of the Fresh Chapter Alliance Foundation. None more relevant that this one:
“MHYH believes that LIFE beyond cancer is rich [and] hope[full], a gift intended to be lived-fully, responsibly, and boldly without fear.“
As a 33 year old breast cancer survivor, I know all about fear and the unchartered waters of survivorship. Thankfully, after the struggles of treatment, a 6-week volunteer program in Cape Town, South Africa helped me remember how rich [and] hopeful life after could be. This experience prompted a round the world Adventure of Hope and has led to the birth of our pilot program: #Delhi2013.
What is #Delhi2013?
We believe that after trudging through treatment, cancer survivors deserve an opportunity to believe in big dreams and possibilities again. What better way to do this than with a trip to India incorporating volunteer work, cultural activities, and a bucket- list-worthy trip to the Taj Mahal?
From February 16 – March 2, 2013 the Fresh Chapter Alliance Foundation will take twelve cancer survivors from across North America on a customized two-week volunteer program in New Delhi, India with Cross-Cultural Solutions. We will be joined by ﬁlm-maker Mark Halliday of Moonrider Productions so he can help us tell the story of cancer survivorship, international volunteering, and global connections.
While in India, each of the #Delhi2013 Dozen will be matched with a local community project and spend two weeks giving of his or her time and energy to people on the other side of the world. Whether helping wash floors and paint toenails at Mother Teresa’s Home For the Dying & The Destitute, participating in English lessons at a school for children living in one of Delhi’s many depressed areas, or providing an extra set of hands to serve meals at daycares and special needs schools, each survivor will not only act as a volunteer, but also as a Cancer Ambassador in communities where cancer is still veiled in shame, secrecy, and stigma.
As a way to build connections in the global cancer community and shed light on some of the challenges facing the global cancer community, we are partnering with CanSupport, a Delhi based organization providing support for cancer patients and their families. While in New Delhi, a shared group activity will be planned that will bring the #Delhi2013 group of survivors from North America together with a community of survivors, patients, and caregivers in India. Through the use of art and music, the Fresh Chapter Alliance Foundation hopes to help foster mutually beneficial connections between survivors of all races and languages.
We have been working hard to raise funds to help make sure every participant gets to India and has the opportunity to see the Taj Mahal. With a short timeline and limited resources, we have gotten creative with everything from a “Mob For Good” on Richard Branson & Virgin Atlantic to a Feel Like Oprah For A Day campaign. Inch by inch, we are finding the support to get this foundation launched, so we can keep chasing dreams and changing lives.
To learn more about our story of wild hope and new beginnings, come visit us at www.afreshchapter.com.
Terri Wingham is a global volunteer, world traveler, hope revolutionary, FCAF Founder, storyteller, daughter, sister, wine lover, post-wine booty shaker & breast cancer survivor.Tweet